BREAKING BAD (WINCH CABLES
I own a 2009 Polaris 850 with a
Glacier II snowplow. I have had
nothing but problems with the winch
cable breaking. The cable is rated
at 2500 pounds, yet I keep break-
ing the cable about 6 inches from
the hook. My dealer continually
says it is operator error! Finally, I
replaced the steel cable with a 4000
-pound synthetic cable. And guess
what, Boss, I broke that before I had
plowed my second driveway. Please
help, because I am at my wits’
Son, I feel your pain. It is no fun
repairing a winch in the winter!
Your first problem is the way the
Glacier II plow is made. It is harder
on winch cables than other makes.
Your blade may be digging in,
causing extra strain on the winch
cable. With the blade on the ground,
adjust the angle so the blade is 90
degrees to the ground. Next, look at
your blade skids. The skids should
keep the blade off the ground about
1/2-inch. Adjust as necessary. If you
don’t have a roller fairlead for the
winch cable, then get one. It will
help your cable last longer, because
the rollers are easier on the cable.
REALLY STEAMED VIKING VI
I purchased a 2014 Yamaha Viking
VI, and it seems like it has been in
the shop more than I have ridden it.
It keeps overheating. My dealer has
replaced the thermostat, flushed the
cooling system and now has run out
of ideas. Boss, do you know what is
going on with my Viking?
East Hope, Idaho
Claudia, as a matter of fact, I
do know what is wrong with your
Viking. Yamaha made two mistakes with the cooling system of the
Vikings. The first is a minor one. The
radiator is designed and placed so
it readily can be plugged up with
debris. This will need regular attention from an owner. The second is
much more serious. At the factory,
Yamaha fills the cooling system
with antifreeze. In a normal system,
when the engine reaches operating temperature for the first time,
the thermostat opens up and any
trapped air is purged from the system. With the Viking, however, the
cooling system does not self-bleed,
and the air that is trapped in the
By Winston “Boss” McKannick
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DOES TWO HALF CRANKS EQUAL
ONE FULL CRANK?
I have a 2005 Polaris Ranger.
When I went to start it this morning,
it gave about a half a crank and quit
cold. No lights, nothing. It was as if
the battery was suddenly disconnected. I checked the battery voltage;
it was fine. I did not find any loose or
corroded connections. Is there a circuit breaker that needs to be reset?
Hooverson Heights, WV
Given that your Ranger is a 2005,
my first thought is your ECM module.
The 2004–’05s had a higher than normal failure rate. When the ECM goes
bad, it cuts power to many things
and acts like a switch was thrown,
killing most everything. However,
remember, static battery voltage is
not an indicator of a good battery. A
static load test or using the battery to
start another Ranger would definitely
eliminate the battery. Open your
Ranger’s hood and look for the large
silver module located on the left side.
The module has two large multi-connectors, one located on each side.
Basically, it’s power in on one side
and power out on the other side. A
quick test of this module is with either
a test light or VOM (Volt Ohm Meter).
Power should enter on one side and
leave on the other. No power to the
module and it is your wiring. No
power leaving the module and that
generally means a shorted module.
The Polaris part is 4011089. Don’t
waste money replacing anything
else. Check the ECM first. If you knew
someone else with a 500 Ranger, a
parts swap would tell you immediately if the ECM was bad.
cooling system causes the engine to
overheat. Yamaha even has issued
a pre-setup procedure to cure this
problem. However, some dealers are
not following the pre-setup instructions, and customers are complaining
about their Vikings overheating. Here
is how to fix the overheating yourself.
Remove the radiator cap, and jack
the front end up in the air. Bring the
engine to operating temperature
and watch the bubbles escape. Add
additional coolant as necessary to
keep the radiator full. When the
bubbles stop, the cooling system is
fully purged of air. Apparently your
dealer either isn’t aware of the pre-setup procedure or didn’t want to be
bothered to set up the Viking correctly because of the extra hassle due to
the poorly designed cooling system.
DRILLING FOR OIL IN MY AIRBOX
We have an ’05 Honda Rancher
ES 350 that constantly fills the airbox
with oil. Everything was fine, and
then all of a sudden it has started
pumping all the oil from the engine
(crankcase) into the breather box
until it is full enough to touch the oil
filter. My husband has broke down
the engine, and nothing seems to
be wrong. Valves good, piston solid
and the rings look fine. He has a lot
of experience with engine repair on
ATVs and dirt bikes, but this has us
puzzled. Can you help?
Well Charlotte, it is possible the
carburetor’s float valve is letting fuel
into the cylinder with the engine off,
which then leaks past the rings into
the crankcase, raising the crankcase
level, and the breather can’t handle
it, pumping the excess into the airbox. If the oil smells like gas, then
check your float valve. If that is not
the problem, then you may have
excess crankcase pressure due to
leaking rings. I would do a compression test to see if the pressure is low.
A wet/dry compression test would
definitely determine if the rings are
leaking. Gas-diluted oil has little
lubrication value, and you should
immediately change the oil and the
oil filter too. ❏